Warwick, R.I. – April 8, 2015: The CCRI Knights baseball team hosted their first game of the season on Monday when they took on the Knights of Northern Essex Community College. The game was won by Northern Essex by the score of 5-3, which puts the CCRI Knights record at 5-5 on the year.
In a game that would be deemed a pitcher’s duel, CCRI’s PJ Watson (Cheshire, CT) did not allow a hit until the fifth inning as the weather turned from a beautiful spring day to a raw a cold one. Watson did however allow base runner via base on balls and hit batters but the Knights defense was able to help him get out of jams in the third and fourth inning especially on a great diving catch by Dave Hopkins (East Greenwich, RI) that turned into a double play to end the fourth inning. Watson went six innings, striking out six while only allowing three runs. Steve Noti (Warwick, RI) pitched two innings without giving up a run or hit and Heiker Feliz (Providence, RI) pitched a flawless ninth by not even giving up a base runner.
Casey Mack (Trumbull, CT) was able to get the Knights on the hit column in the third inning when he roped a double to left field. The Knights only other hit came from Brandon Escalante (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) in the ninth, pinch-hitting for Mack. The Knights did have nine base runners with seven walks the Knights showed tremendous patience but could not generate that key hit to score a run.
The game took a twist in the sixth inning on a sequence of bizarre plays. Northern Essex had the bases loaded with no outs. A hard hit ball to centerfield got caught up in the wind, leaving base runners uncertain, the ball dropped in for a hit, scoring one run. Bases remained loaded, till Coach Ken Hopkins trotted out to the field to have a chat with the umpires. After a long conversation on the umpires overturned the call at second base and the runner was out on the throw from Co-Captain Eddie Apice (North Kingstown, RI). Later in the inning with two outs and bases loaded again and mid-way through the count the umpire ejected both Jacob Raynor and Dan Autiello (Orlando, FL) after a verbal exchange between the two. Bringing up John Sirois, with two strikes, who fought off a tough inside pitch from Watson with a flair to shallow left to score two more runs making the score 3-0. The Knights hit the ball hard over the last four innings unfortunately it was right at NECC defenders and the fell by the final count of 3-0.
CCRI will host the Mariners of Mitchell College JV on Wednesday April 8th at 3:30pm at Fell Field in Warwick.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.